Win a copy of Awaken the Highland Warrior and chat with author Anita Clenney today at the Book Boost!
I recently chatted with my Celtic Hearts sister and here was what she had to say...
TBB: Welcome back to the blog, Anita. Please tell us where you're from and share your latest big news with us.
AC: I live near Fredericksburg, Virginia, between Washington DC and Richmond, Virginia. I was born in Grundy, Virginia.
Awaken the Highland Warrior released on May 1st and things have been moving quickly. I launched with a booksigning alongside Nora Roberts, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Kristan Higgins and several other authors, and I sold out. That was such a thrill.
Then I attended an author event at a Bunch of Grapes Bookstore on Martha’s Vineyard and also had an opportunity to tour the island. Hubby went with me for a 14-year-belated honeymoon, and we just had a blast. We plan to go back.
TBB: Oh wow! Congrats on both the 14 year honeymoon and the book signing sell out. Both are amazing. Let's back up a little bit. Tell us how and why you began writing and when you really first considered yourself a writer.
AC: Like most writers, I’ve always loved to read. I never considered writing until a few years ago after a voracious reading jaunt. Something in my head clicked, and I knew that I should be writing. At first it was hard to think of myself as a writer since I wasn’t published. Gradually, I realized that while I might not be published, I was writing A LOT, and it wasn’t a hobby. That’s when I started calling myself a writer.
TBB: Understandable. I found that I didn't get published UNTIL I started thinking of myself as a writer. You mentioned your love of reading, what are you reading right now?
AC: I’m reading three, which isn’t something I normally do. The Heir, a historical romance by Grace Burrowes. Wonderful book, beautiful writing, exquisite characters. The Earl of Darkness, a paranormal historical by Alix Rickloff. I just started it and it seems that she’s created a wonderful world. I’m also reading Dance with the Devil by Sherrilyn Kenyon. I’m not far into the book, but it’s great so far. Her books always are. I was thrilled when I started reading it because I hadn’t realized it was about Zarek, a character from one of her other books. I was always drawn to Zarek.
TBB: Dance with the Devil is my favorite of all the Dark Hunter books. I have my prized personally autographed copy too (fan girl moment). So, when you're not reading these books, what are you working on in the writing department?
AC: I’m excited to announce that book two in this series, Embrace the Highland Warrior comes out in November. I’m working on book three now, Unleash the Highland Warrior, and it comes out in 2012. I’m also writing a cozy mystery series which is going to be so much fun.
TBB: Those sound great. I know they'll be just as successful (and more) than your current book. How did you come up with the concept for this book and is this your original title?
AC: It started with a dream. That was the creepy demons-in-disguise part. I was also intrigued with the idea of someone finding a warrior who wasn’t dead, so I combined the ideas and came up with the original story.
Originally I called the book Time Warrior, then I decided on Awaken the Warrior, since Faelan is a warrior waiting to be awakened. But my publisher insisted on adding “highland” to the title. Honestly, I disagreed, because this isn’t a typical highlander book, and I didn’t want to mislead anyone. But my publisher couldn’t be swayed, and in the end, the title grew on me.
TBB: What authors have inspired your writing and in what way?
AC: I don’t think any authors have specifically inspired my writing, but so many of them have simply inspired me to write. I do have favorite authors. I love Diana Gabaldon, Janet Evanovich, Elizabeth Peters, Kristan Higgins, and so many more.
TBB: Those are all great. Give me a quote (written by you) about being a writer.
AC: "Writing is not a one size fits all business."
TBB: I love it! Lastly, if someone wrote a biography about you, what should the title be?
AC: The Paradoxical Chameleon. Nothing about me makes sense, but I can blend in anywhere.
TBB: Sounds like it would be a fun book. Before you go, please give us a teaser of your current book.
AC: Thanks so much for having me here on the Book Boost Blog. I’ve loved writing this series, and I hope readers will have fun with it as well.
Bree’s fingers tightened around the metal disk as she ran through the graveyard, zigzagging past leaning headstones. Her lantern swayed, throwing shadows on the crypt looming before her, its stone walls the color of bones. Thick vines crept over it, sealing in cracks left by time, while gnarled branches from the twisted oak hovered like outstretched arms. Protecting… or threatening?
An owl screeched overhead as she scurried up the crumbling steps, wishing night hadn’t fallen, when shadows twisted into monsters and spirits came out to play. The burial vault lay open near the back of the crypt, waiting. Blood rushed past her ears, a sound like all the angels’ wings beating in unison. She moved closer and peered at the chest inside. It was ornate, made of metal and wood, with green gemstones embedded in each corner. It looked ancient, like it belonged in a museum or a pyramid, or perhaps Solomon’s Temple. The beauty of it struck her again, as it had when she’d first discovered it.
She set the lantern on the edge of the burial vault and studied the markings on the chest. Swirls and shapes like writing shifted in the amber glow. Stretching out a finger, she touched the surface. Warm? She yanked her hand back and hit the lantern. It crashed to the floor, throwing the top of the crypt into darkness. Dropping to her knees, she scrambled for the light. A sound cut through the silence, scraping, like fingernails against stone. She grabbed the lantern, not daring to blink, then remembered the wind outside and the claw-like branches of the old tree.
She placed the lantern securely on the vault cover she’d pushed onto the alcove and unfolded her hand. The metal disk she held was three inches in diameter and appeared to be made from the same metal as the chest, not silver, not gold. One side had deep grooves; the other was etched with symbols. With trembling fingers, she lined up the disk with the matching grooves on top of the chest and pushed. There was a series of clicks as the notched edges retracted.
A voice rushed through her head. What lies within cannot be, until time has passed with the key.
Bree whirled, but she was alone. Only stone walls stood watch, their secrets hidden for centuries. It was sleep deprivation, not ghosts.
She pulled in a slow, steadying breath and tried to turn the disk. Nothing. Again, this time counterclockwise, and it began to move under her hand. She jerked her fingers back. A loud pop sounded and colors flashed… blue, orange, and green, swirling for seconds, and then they were gone. Great, hallucinations to go with the voices in her head.
Her body trembled as she gripped the lid. This was it. All her dreams held on a single pinpoint of time. If this ended up another wild goose chase, she was done. No more treasure hunts, no more mysteries, no more playing Indiana Jones. She’d settle down to a nice, ordinary, boring life. She counted.
She heaved open the chest.
Terror clawed its way to her throat, killing her scream.
The man inhaled one harsh breath and his eyes flew open, locking on Bree. A battle cry worthy of Braveheart echoed off the walls. Bree jumped back as metal flashed and a rush of air kissed her face. Petrified, she watched him crawl out of the burial vault, a wicked-looking dagger in his hand. Her scream tore loose as she turned and fled.
Fingers grazed her shoulder, and she glanced back. The last thing she saw before her feet tangled with the shovel was the dead man reaching for her.
Want More Anita?
Visit her website here: www.anitaclenney.com
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Follow her on Twitter here:
Pick up your copy of her book today! Click here.
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